The two Pichon Chateaux stand guard at the entrance to Pauillac from St Julien. These two formidable structures on opposite sides of the D2 are two of the most iconic building of the Medoc and two of the most iconic wines. AXA Millésimes, the current owner has overseen the resurgence of this venerable estate. After some lacklustre wines in the 70s and 80s, AXA bought the property in 1987 and enlisted the help of Jean-Michel Cazes have rebuilt the Chateau’s reputation. Jean-Michel stepped down in 2000 and Englishman, Christian Seely has taken the reigns and continues to push the quality level still higher.
Pichon Longueville’s grand vin is a flamboyant and powerful expression of this noble Pauillac terroir. Their wines often exceed expectation at Southwold and are amongst the top performing “super seconds”. There are two “second wines”, Tourelles and Griffons de Longueville. The Tourelles is predominantly Merlot from the Sainte Anne vineyard and offers a juicy, approachable style of Pauillac that is delightful after just a year or two in bottle, but will also reward those with patience.
Of the 73 hectares of vines, 65% are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% with Merlot. Jean-Rene Matrigon chooses to vinify plot by plot using small fermentation vats and wines are typically aged in 80% new oak barrels. Stylistically, Baron appears to be less classical and more opulent than neighbour Pichon Lalande, however, in bottle the wines adopt a more orthodox Pauillac character. In recent years, Baron has excelled at Southwold tastings and from barrel tastings, with critics and merchants alike heaping praise on the wines – this is an estate at the very top of their game.